2130-40 West Fulton St.
Chicago, IL 60612
Opening Reception: Friday, January 5, 2018, 6-9pm
The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Beyond Words, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Lesley Jackson, Keeley Haftner, Caroline Liu, Andrew Barco, and Amy Leners.
There’s no doubt that we encounter words at every turn of daily life. But text is something more complicated, though just as integral. Michel Foucault wonders exactly how to define a text in his essay “What is an Author?”:
"The problem is both theoretical and technical. When undertaking the publication of Nietzsche's works, for example, where should one stop? Surely everything must be published, but what is "everything"? Everything that Nietzsche himself published, certainly. And what about the rough drafts for his works? Obviously. The plans for his aphorisms? Yes. The deleted passages and the notes at the bottom of the page? Yes. What if, within a workbook filled with aphorisms, one finds a reference, the notation of a meeting or of an address, or a laundry list: is it a work, or not? Why not? And so on, ad infinitum."
A text is a chain of iterations interlocking together to fashion a meaningful image of the world. It’s difficult to know where they begin and end because texts are living documents of lived experience.
When seen this way, we don’t have to look only to words and language to find texts. A work of art is also a text. It’s more plain to see when an artwork draws from written or literary sources, but that is not the extent of art’s textual quality. Art as an illocutionary act draws from an accretion of meaning through changes, edits, critique, interpretation, exhibition, interfacing with setting and other works, etc. Much like words fit together to make sentences and sentences to make paragraphs, physical and contextual components fit together in a modular sense to create a text that is something bigger than the sum of its parts. This exhibition highlights the crafting of textual artworks, but the texts of each work are intentionally not similar. They stand to show the versatility of text, from personal narratives, to poetic reflections, to abstractions of visuality.
Beyond Words is curated by Danny Floyd.
Image: Nietzsche: Manuscript of Ecce Homo